Al-Qaeda has confirmed that top leader Abu Khayr al-Masri, believed to be the organisation’s number two, was killed in a drone strike by the US-led coalition in Syria.
The killing of Masri, described by analysts as “jihadi royalty,” could serve as a major security coup for US President Donald Trump early in his presidency.
Calling him a “hero,” the statement said Masri “was killed during a Crusader drone strike” in Syria.
“All of al-Sham (Syria) will bear witness to the latest crime of America and the Crusader alliance,” the statement said, in reference to the US-led coalition bombing extremists in Syria and Iraq.
It also expressed its condolences to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.